NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — For 80 years, the half-moon steel structure of the Bayonne Bridge has spanned the waters between Hudson County and Staten Island.
The bridge’s clearance is now just over 150-feet but officials said it will need to be over 180 feet to allow larger ships to get through.
The Port Authority will put up $1 billion to raise or replace the landmark crossing after a unanimous vote by the agency’s board.
The deal was agreed to by New York representatives on the board only after getting assurances from New Jersey representatives that they would support a plan for developer Larry Silverstein to build office towers at the World Trade Center site.
“Our realistic options include lifting just the roadway itself, leaving the super-structure in place, creating a lift-bridge mechanism,” Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia said.
There is also tight deadline for the project as the bigger ships will be sailing up the Atlantic through a wider Panama Canal by 2015.
Governor Chris Christie praised the plan on Tuesday.
“We’ve met one of New Jersey’s great economic challenges for our future,” Christie said, “this industry will continue to remain a vital part of New Jersey’s economy and this region’s economy…for the foreseeable future.”